Your Baby's Fifth Month

Your baby is inching up on her six month birthday.  By the end of this month, she will weigh somewhere around 15-16 lbs and measure around 25 inches long.  Since she was born, she has gained about a half lb a week, but this rapid weight gain and growth will start to slow down soon, if it hasn’t already.

By the end of this month, your baby should be sleeping through the night.  The total amount of sleep she needs hasn’t changed a lot since last month, but she may be sleeping better and not waking up through the night.  You can expect her to sleep for around 10 hours at night now.  If she is still waking, you may want to look into her daytime schedule or consider trying different sleep training methods.  There are several methods for getting your baby to sleep better at night, including “no cry” methods and “cry it out” methods.  Which method works best for you will depend on your baby and your parenting philosophy.

Your baby will soon be getting around.  She should have figured out how to roll over from front to back by now.  This month you’ll likely see her rolling in both directions.  Not only is she getting better at rolling over, she is starting to prepare for crawling and walking.  You may see her get up on all fours and rock back and forth.  Eventually, she will progress from rocking to crawling.

She’s making progress in her language skills too.  You should be hearing plenty of babbling now.  She’s starting to put consonant and vowel sounds together like “ba-ba-ba” or “ma-ma” or “da-da.”   This is normal baby development, but it doesn’t mean your baby is talking quite yet.  Generally at this age, when a baby says “ma-ma” she doesn’t understand what the word “mama” means.  She is just practicing her sounds.  It will be a little longer before she starts to put together words with meanings.

You may be thinking about starting to offer your baby solid foods.   Most experts recommend waiting until baby is six months to start solid foods.  Your baby’s digestive system is still immature at this age.  Most babies still have a tongue-thrust reflex at this age and will push most of the food back out with their tongue.  Giving your baby an extra month will help ensure that her tummy is ready for solids and that she is mature enough to handle swallowing solid foods.

By the end of the fifth month your baby can:

  • Focus on small objects (the size of a raisin)
  • Reach for objects
  • Laugh when you play with her
  • Put his foot in her mouth
  • Play with toys that are placed in her hands
  • Make “raspberries”
  • Put toys and objects in her mouth
  • Roll over (at least in one direction)
  • Hold her head steady when she is sitting or held upright

Your baby likes:

  • To play at mealtime
  • To put everything in her mouth
  • To soothe herself by sucking on her hands, pacifier, or feet
  • To have stories read to her
  • To shake and rattle noise-making toys
  • To squeal, grunt, and make other noises

Safety Tips:

  • Don’t place baby to sleep on a bed, sofa, chair, or any soft surfaces.  Put baby to sleep on her back in her crib.
  • Install an anti-scald device on your faucet and test the bath water before you place baby in the tub. 
  • Always strap your baby in when using swings, bouncy toys, or strollers.
  • Now that baby may be getting around, it is important to check the floors for small objects daily.  Your baby may not be moving around yet, but she could be scooting or crawling any time now.

Activities for your baby:

  • Play a game of hide and seek.  Take a blanket and cover up a toy.  See if your baby can figure out where it went.  Show her how to pick up the blanket and see what’s hiding underneath.
  • Scoot scoot scoot!  Encourage your baby to scoot.  Get on the floor dangle a favorite toy in front of her.  See if she reaches for the toy.  In the process she might scoot a little.
  • Shake it!  Take an empty water bottle and fill it with cut up pieces of construction paper, colorful buttons, and other objects from around the house.  Seal the lid on with super glue.  Let your baby shake, rattle, and roll it!  Since this toy contains small objects inside, make sure this activity is supervised.

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